Articles written in August, 2011

August 31 2011

Tips for Making the Most Out of Your Landing Pages


When driving visitors to a specific landing page of your website, it is important to ensure that the landing page is clean and professional looking, with clear and concise calls to action. You will want to make the most out of the landing page, which is especially true when there is a Pay per Click initiative in place. In other words, why spend advertising dollars to send traffic to a page that does not effectively encourage your visitors to complete some sort of actionable step?

So, what types of steps or action items should your landing page encompass? Below are a few that – in my opinion — every landing page ought to have.

  • Calls to Action. I would recommend a minimum of two. A few examples include: Download Our Latest Whitepaper, Sign up For Our Monthly Newsletter. View our Portfolio, Buy Now, etc. These are all excellent forms of lead generation for your company and can be then used as a sales tool. Be sure to include any promotions or discounts you may be offering.
  • Professional Looking Page. Often times, this is the first impression your visitors will have of your company. Make it count. Display the components of your website that make your company stand out above the rest. I.e. Awards, Certifications, etc.
  • Relevancy to what the visitor searched on. For example, if you are a beauty supply site and the searcher typed in Volumizing Shampoo, he/she should be taken directly to the page within your website that supports this search query.
  • Simplicity. The page should be concise, with a clear direction as to what you want your visitors to do.

Your landing pages are a very important part of your online marketing mix. Make the most out of them!

August 26 2011

Find out Exactly What Terms Your Visitors are Searching for


One of my favorite reports to run in Google AdWords to optimize campaign performance is the Search Query Report. You can run this report by clicking “See search terms” in the Keywords tab in your account.  The Search Query Report shows you the actual keyword terms and phrases that users searched for when your Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ad shows an impression on the search engine results page (SERP).

From this report you can see which keywords have brought in the most conversions and even the cost per conversion. It would be best to pause any keywords that have a high cost per conversion and low ROI. Also, if you find that there are search terms which are bringing in conversions, but are not currently in your campaign, you should add these terms to your campaign. This will increase the quality score of your ad and therefore decrease the cost per click (CPC) of the keyword.

On the other hand, if you find search terms that are not relevant to your campaigns, you should add these terms to your negative keyword list. Doing so will increase your click-through rate (CTR) because your ads will receive more clicks without wasted impressions, thus decreasing your CPC as well.

Another way to use the Search Query Report is to check the match type you’re currently using for exiting keywords. Also, you can create more tightly knit ad groups based on common groups of search queries. The Search Query Report is an excellent tool to help optimize your paid search keyword menu and lower your average CPCs for your campaigns.

August 22 2011

Only Four Months Until Holiday Season – Are Your SEM Campaigns Ready?


While it seems like summer is still in full swing and fall is still around the corner, the holiday season will be here sooner than you realize it. Before the fall weeks quickly fly by, it would be ideal to take time now to plan for the upcoming online holiday shopping season.  Here are some recommendations on how to successfully plan your search engine marketing (SEM) campaigns.

  • Check past campaign performance.  Do some research and see what keywords, ads and landing pages lead to the most amount of conversions. Additionally, what could have performed better? Taking the time to analyze your 2010 holiday campaigns will help you pinpoint the parts of your campaigns that need to be optimized and what you can re-use for this holiday season.
  • Budget your advertising spend. Does your product or service have a long purchase cycle? If so, you may want to maintain a steady budget throughout November and December. If not, you may want to ramp up your budget early-on, when customers begin their shopping expeditions.
  • Plan your Promotions Now. Do you plan on offering varied discounts throughout the online shopping season or will your promotions stay the same from when the holiday shopping season kicks off on Black Friday? 
  • Target Different Devices. With the emergence of smartphones and tablets, more and more shoppers are using these new devices to shop and conduct price comparisons. Plus, these shoppers can be physically in front of a product and still do price comparison shopping.  SEM campaigns now have the ability to target different devices. You can optimize your campaigns for desktop, mobile and even tablet devices.
  • Create Landing Pages Now. After putting in all of the time and planning into your holiday SEM campaigns, you would not want all that effort to go to waste if your online visitors land on a less-than-optimal landing page. Design your landing pages with a holiday theme and make sure that your promotions are clearly spelled out.
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